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Dem blasts Republican trade assistance bill

A leading liberal critic of President Obama's trade agenda is blasting a GOP proposal that pays for helping workers displaced by trade in part by cutting a tax incentive for families.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said that House Republicans were "showing their preference for multinational corporations over working American families" by seeking to offset the costs of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program by cutting the child tax credit. 

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"TAA should not be offset on the backs of children," DeLauro said.

House Republicans have rolled out a measure to expand the TAA program and a healthcare tax incentive for workers, in addition to the proposal to give President Obama "fast-track" authority on trade. 

Those powers, more officially known as Trade Promotion Authority, are seen as key to finishing off the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed agreement with Asian countries that has split Democrats. 

To offset the roughly $2.8 billion costs for TAA and a related healthcare incentive for workers, House Republicans have proposed blocking taxpayers who exclude foreign income from getting money back from the child credit. That proposal on its own would offset just over a tenth of TAA, raising around $293 million over a decade.

Republicans would also wring $700 million worth of savings out of Medicare, but not until 2025. Customs user fees and cuts in payments for dialysis treatments would make up the rest of the TAA offsets.

DeLauro added Monday that the fact that House Republicans were rolling out the TAA measure and fast track at the same time proved that the new trade deal would hurt U.S. workers.

"It is why I cannot support TPA and why I urge my colleagues to oppose it," DeLauro said.